Have you ever started a job and eventually felt like you didn’t fit in? Finding the right job that matches your needs and goals is crucial to your career success. Don’t miss a chance to evaluate an opportunity and ask the right questions starting from your first interview to know if this opportunity will benefit you.
In this article, we aim to empower you with effective questions and the best practices during job interviews to help show your genuine interest, giving you insights on role suitability, culture fit, and overall satisfaction in the company.
The Advantages of Asking the Right Questions During Interviews
Asking the right questions can benefit you in several ways. Here are some reasons why candidates should ask questions during interviews.
It shows you are interested.
Employers and hiring managers often meet with multiple job applicants with varying skills, personalities, and dedication. By being enthusiastic about the role, employers are assured that you are invested in the organization and will most likely stay for a long time.
It shows that you are prepared for the interview.
Paychex asked interviewers in a survey about what candidate behaviors may put them off during interviews.¹ Here are the top three of the results:
- 62 percent – Candidate lacked preparation for the interview
- 56 percent – Poor listening skills
- 33 percent – Failing to ask questions
Interviewers take the time to prepare for your job interviews, and it would be kind of you to do the same. Asking the right questions shows you are prepared beforehand and are eager to participate in the conversation.
It showcases your knowledge and experience.
Asking the right questions can show how knowledgeable you are about the role you are applying for. It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills and expertise in your field.
For example, suppose you’re applying for an IT role. In that case, you may ask about what technologies are being explored by the team for implementation to see if you already have experience handling them.
It helps you assess potential employers.
Aside from providing employers with the information they need and increasing your chances of getting hired, it also helps you assess the company you’re applying for.
Asking the right questions can help you evaluate an employer and see if the opportunity is right for you. The right questions about compensation, benefits, culture, practices, growth opportunities, and overall management help you understand your responsibilities, what is expected of you as a new employee, and what you can expect in return. Ultimately, they will aid you in making informed decisions regarding how you will fit within the organization.
Prepare for Meaningful Conversations: 4 Strategies in Asking Questions During Interviews
Asking questions during the interview process requires a strategy to be most effective. Here are four best practices you can do before and during your job interview.
1. Prepare personalized questions ahead of the interview.
Personalizing your questions based on the role you are applying for can show your genuine interest in being hired and help you stand out. Here is a step-by-step process you can follow to personalize your questions for each company you apply for.
- Research the company and ask about its culture, everyday work, processes, company events, and more.
- Review the job description. Ask about the role and their expectations of you.
- Considering your strengths and weaknesses, ask for any training or developmental opportunities they may offer.
- Prepare follow-up questions.
Once you have collected your questions, practice asking them in front of the mirror or someone you know. This practice can help you understand if your expressions and tone are welcoming enough.
2. Avoid saying you do not have any questions, especially when you do.
It’s easy for some to get nervous when it’s their time to ask questions. However, this will not benefit you and might even lower your chances of getting the role. Interview processes are two-way streets, and recruiters appreciate individuals who ask questions to learn more about the opportunity and the company.
To avoid having regrets in the future, take time to compose yourself. If you’re feeling nervous, take a moment to breathe and carefully ask your questions. It’s best to clarify all your concerns early in the interview process. This does not only show your eagerness but also your professionalism and dedication to the role.
3. Engage with your recruiter thoughtfully.
Think of interviews as a simple conversation with your recruiter. You’re both here to know about each other to align yourselves for a job opportunity. Your recruiter is not here to judge you; instead, to find an ideal fit for the role. As an applicant, this is your responsibility as well.
This also means that you have to phrase your sentences positively. Instead of “Why did the last employee quit this role?” change your question to “What prompted the opening of this position?”
4. Be conversational in asking questions.
Being conversational during interviews means a regular exchange between you and your interviewer. You don’t need to gather all your questions for the end of the interview. Find the right time to ask them to make the conversation flow naturally.
Doing this also shows the interviewer how engaging you can be to work with, leaving a pleasant impression on your personality.
Related Reading: 11 Essential Interview Tips and Techniques for Candidates in 2023
Practical Questions to Ask During Interviews
Now that you have a better idea of why you should be asking questions during interviews and how to ask them properly, it’s time to list down effective questions to ask. Effective questions can keep your conversation going while it adds to your knowledge about the role and organization. Here are some examples that you may consider.
Asking role-specific questions can help you envision if you will be a good fit for the position.
- “What are some challenges I may face in this role?”
- “What are the developmental and advancement opportunities for the role?”
- “Are there any performance bonuses or salary increases I can expect?”
2. Work culture and company values
According to Gallup, only 25 percent of US employees firmly believe their employer cares about their well-being. ². Knowing about the organization’s culture and values can help you see if you can work there for long and thrive in the role you are applying for.
- “What do you enjoy about the company?”
- “What are the company’s initiatives regarding work-life balance?”
- “What office tradition do you like best?”
- “Do you have any employee resource groups?”
- “What’s unique about working here than anywhere else?”
3. Next steps
Asking about your next steps can tell the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in getting hired and are willing to go through the process they have prepared.
- “Is there anything else I can provide you with to help you get to know me better?”
- “What is my next step after this interview with you?”
- “When should I next hear from you?”
- “Is there a contact person I may keep in touch with for updates?”
FIND YOUR NEXT BEST OPPORTUNITIES WITH STRATEGIC SYSTEMS
Asking the right questions during your interviews can be advantageous. So, prepare personalized questions for your interview to help you make wise career decisions. Aside from preparing interview questions, you can also increase your chances of finding better opportunities with a recruitment firm like Strategic Systems.